I’ve only tried it the once, but thought it might be a common enough question to gather up expertize of what’s working for people.
I find the S-3 to be fine to get to the basket, but staying on is tricky, especially in the constant turns in the Training mission.
Do people (gasp!) use any autopilot mode or perhaps keep the throttle stationary when +5 kts and then feather the speed-brake? Is it pure trim and throttle work that just requires practice and precision?
Also, Is it like the Harrier, where there is a good place to get the S-3 or KC-130 on the aircraft canopy frame as a good reference point for station keeping and/or approach?
I just refueled for the first time. By far the easiest plane in DCS IMO. As I was tanking I noticed that keeping the hose container pod thing in the space between the pitch ladder was perfect. As far as auto pilot, I didn’t use any. Once I was leveled behind the tanker, just required minute adjustments on the stick.
A bug or feature I noticed is that when the hornet tanks are full, the tanker doesn’t tell you. The 3 lights were flashing, and fuel flow in had stopped, but I didn’t get the transfer complete disconnect. This may be related to why when you take off with 100% fuel, the internal tanks aren’t actually 100% full. They transfer some fuel from the externals and the internal amount increases to 11k.
Yes, although not sure if me being in VR makes any difference. On approach I was thinking, hang on, I can’t see the 10, but when it came time to pre-contact I could just about.
Placing where the hose joined the pod on the right +10 did work ok for me, but I do wonder if it’s mainly just to stop looking directly at the basket - as that forces you to look through it, and keeps the Tanker wing/frame more the focus instead.
EDIT: @Ghost0815 - actually, this is for the KC-130. The S-3 is too small for the \10 pitch reference I think.
It takes practice and patience and anticipation (trying to stay ahead of the basket and not getting into the Pilot Induced Oscillation). Among other things. I am not an expert but after a few hundred tries I can get it under some control
I just now got my first fill up EVER in DCS. It took about a dozen hookups before the tanker said I was full. It does take a lot of patience. Finding a part of the tanker to aim for is key. I changed the tanker to the C-130. I also did the Warthog mod with no big spring and the little springs Over the slide plate. I have bigger springs that came from a bicycle shop. These four springs give just about perfect return to center. By the time I was done, my hand was so tired and my brain is exhausted. Ill have to practice for SURE.
Not really aimed at anyone in specific, but my general advice is tanking is just formation work with a more stringent entry parameter. If you’re struggling to put it in / get stuck on, ignore that part of it. Go up to that big beautiful mother tanker, tuck under the wing, and just hang out. Get accustomed to how your plane handles at that speed and altitude, get used to stabilizing on the tanker, get used to how the tanker turns, and just get generally comfy cozy.
Once you’re done digging how beautiful it is on that wing, and you’re comfortable with your ability to stabilize, then worry about plugging in.
That’s all you gotta practice. Everyone sucks at first. I don’t know if @ENO remembers the first time I tried to ride on his wing on a flight between Gelenzhik and Sochi, but unfortunately, I sure do. It was embarrassingly bad.